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Getting Around Minneapolis - St. Paul

The best way to get around Minneapolis-St.Paul is on foot, so take to the streets -- the downtown area is especially easy to navigate. The Minneapolis Skyway, a system of enclosed heated walkways, allows visitors to meander the dense areas of town. A car is also a great option -- it will allow you to venture into the suburbs and around the lakes, while taxis are useful downtown. Because of numerous garages, parking in the downtown area is rarely a problem, but similar to other big cities, traffic can still be a hassle. Metro Transit operates bus and light-rail routes that course through both cities and are convenient (if not a bit confusing at times). The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is also accessible by Metro Transit.

On Foot

Walking around downtown will give you the true feeling of this warm metropolis (by warm, we mean the residents – certainly not the weather). Simply stride around, asking locals where to eat and what to see to truly experience the area. It's dense enough to be walkable, even in winter: The Minneapolis Skyway, in downtown Minneapolis, allows pedestrians to be unhindered by the rain, sleet, or snow that they might encounter outdoors.

Car Cars are necessary for exploring the suburbs and lakes (not to mention storing your purchases from the Mall of America). You can rent a vehicle at MSP Airport, but be sure to get one with four-wheel drive in winter. Parking is plentiful downtown; if you can, pick one next to a Skyway entrance. Traffic can crowd the highways at rush hour, but you shouldn't be too fearful about the weather. The area is very well equipped to deal with winter weather, employing a large fleet of snow plows.
Taxi Cabs are an easy way to get around either Downtown Minneapolis or Downtown St. Paul. If you consider using a cab, be prepared to call one since waiting for a cab in the snow is unpleasant. Note: there is an automatic $5 minimum put on any ride, so make the trip worth your money.
Light-rail

Although it is very new, the light rail is a wonderful public transit option. The current (and only) line runs past the Mall of America, the Metrodome, MSP and downtown with many other stops. It costs $1.75 normally and $2.25 during rush hours (6 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m.). There is a "Downtown Zone" fare for only 50 cents, which allows you to travel on a bus or the light rail within central Minneapolis and St. Paul. Day and week unlimited passes for both bus and train are also available.

Bus

Non-linear routes confuse many tourists, even if you do have a map (we do suggest you grab one). If you can figure out the paths, the buses are convenient and inexpensive ($1.75 and $2.25 in rush hour). However, most of the attractions are downtown, so you won't need to use the buses.

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